Greater U.S. Government Efforts Needed to Recruit Qualified Candidates for Employment by U.N. Organizations

ID-77-14: Published: May 16, 1977. Publicly Released: May 16, 1977.

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The United States is the largest financial contributor to the United Nations and its specialized agencies, but few Americans are employed by the United Nations.

Only in the U.N. Secretariat is the United States within its "desirable range," the criteria for which are based on financial contributions, membership, and a geographically distributed allocation of positions. U.S. nationals held few senior management level and field-expert level positions. Constraints on hiring Americans are pressure from developing countries to hire more of their nationals and financial difficulties in the agencies which have caused personnel freezes. In addition, some agencies considered Americans' general lack of foreign language ability and international experience and the U.S. requirement of loyalty clearances to be drawbacks in hiring Americans. The U.N. system seemed to lack appeal to Americans, because there is no career development system, the selection period is too lengthy, and the resettling of a family in a foreign environment is traumatic. Salaries seem not to be a problem anymore. U.S. recruiting efforts are not coordinated among concerned agencies, are poorly emphasized, are oriented more towards finding jobs than qualified people, used narrow sources, and concentrated on undefined key positions. Recruiting efforts should be improved.

Recommendation for Executive Action

  1. Status: Closed

    Comments: Please call 202/512-6100 for additional information.

    Recommendation: Realistic long-range targets for attaining optimum U.S. participation should be developed. An annual positive action plan detailing specific targets should be prepared. U.N. personnel systems should be reformed to streamline the long selection process and develop a better career system. Implementation of the positive action plan should be reported on annually.

    Agency Affected:


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